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Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? Versartis, Inc. (VSAR), Genesis Healthcare, Inc. (GEN)

The shares of Versartis, Inc. have decreased by more than -84.90% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 15.38% or $0.3 and now trades at $2.25. The shares of Genesis Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:GEN), has slumped by -81.36% year to date as of 12/01/2017. The shares currently trade at $0.79 and have been able to report a change of -10.71% over the past one week.

The stock of Versartis, Inc. and Genesis Healthcare, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Friday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. These figures suggest that GEN ventures generate a higher ROI than that of VSAR.



Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for VSAR is 1.50 and that of GEN is 0.20. This implies that it is easier for VSAR to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than GEN.

Valuation




VSAR currently trades at a P/B of 1.63, while GEN trades at a P/S of 0.02. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, VSAR is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of VSAR is currently at a -47.55% to its one-year price target of 4.29. Looking at its rival pricing, GEN is at a -72.76% relative to its price target of 2.90. This figure implies that over the next one year, GEN is a better investment.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), VSAR is given a 2.90 while 3.00 placed for GEN. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for GEN stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for VSAR is 1.12 while that of GEN is just 8.23. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for VSAR stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Versartis, Inc. defeats that of Genesis Healthcare, Inc. when the two are compared, with VSAR taking 4 out of the total factors that were been considered. VSAR happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, VSAR is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for VSAR is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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